Good morning! It’s been a hectic week around the world, but we’re slowing down this morning to dig into some deep reads on topics like exploitation and abuse of women in fracking country and putting survival skills into use in a hostile American landscape.
‘#JusticePourThéo: How France’s Alleged Police Rape Case Could Swing a High-Stakes Election‘ (Massoud Hayoun for Pacific Standard)
A major election could decide the future drift of the right in France, and a recent high-profile incident could determine which way voters break.
While young French people from the suburbs stay away from the polls, the incident may spur Le Pen supporters, Alduy adds. “On the other side, the police corps right now are leaning strongly toward a vote for the National Front — in a recent survey 50 percent of them said they would vote FN — and this incident might confirm them in their choice: Marine Le Pen is the only political figure to have absolved entirely the cops incriminated and she said there was no ‘incident’ until the justice system states a crime has been committed.”
‘Preparing My Kids for the New America‘ (Sayed Kashua for The New Yorker)
When you have chosen America as your home, what do you tell your children when it turns on you?
In the meantime, my children insist that they’re happy here, that they love their schools and their friends. After the attack on a mosque in Quebec City, last month, I decided to make sure that the instincts to recognize ethnic-based hazards, which they’d acquired in Jerusalem over the years, hadn’t eroded under the disconcerting illusion of universality in the United States. I needed to know that their skills in faking an accent and adopting different religious, ethnic, and national identities as necessary were still in place. We’d given them Western names back in Israel, thank God.
‘Fracklands: On Water, Land, Bodies, and Standing Rock‘ (Toni Jensen for Catapult)
Something very dark is happening to the women who live in regions overcome by the oil boom. This is the story of the women’s bodies on the line at the intersection of capitalism, place, and belonging.
The influx of men, of workers’ bodies, into frackland towns brings an overflow of crime. In the Bakken at the height of the oil and gas boom, violent crime, for example, increased by 125 percent. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem called this increase in violent crime “disturbing,” and cited aggravated assaults, rapes, and human trafficking as “chief concerns.”
‘The Other World‘ (Caitlin L. Chandler for Guernica)
What does it actually look like on the ground in Syria? This lively, lush piece provides a stark and honest look at the realities of a nation in turmoil.
After we set up, kids ran over to play with the neon-orange plastic fencing that demarcated the clinic space. They begged for Vaseline to rub on their chapped cheeks, where dry skin formed raised patterns. They asked for food and water. There was no school to occupy their time; instead they played games, fought, helped their parents. The kids and their mothers had fled Russian and Syrian government bombs. Some had escaped from ISIL-controlled territory. They came to the berm from Homs, Palmyra, Aleppo, and Raqqa, usually traveling with smugglers. Dentists, teachers, nurses, tailors, shopkeepers. There were still others who were not refugees, but were locals to the area, some of whom profited from the refugees; we had no real way of estimating how many.
‘How 9/11 Prepared Muslims for Trump‘ (Katie Zavadski for The Daily Beast)
After the 11 September attacks, Muslims in the United States developed a web of tools for survival in the face of hatred. Now, that hard-fought experience is becoming useful again in a nation of hate.
Right after the election, NYIC started rolling out trainings on dealing with law enforcement for various communities, and they launched a campaign about “Our New York,” or the values that New Yorkers hold dear. When they started thinking about planning their first rally, two days before the so-called Muslim ban was announced, they heard that an old partner, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, already had one in the works. NYIC threw their weight behind that.
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Photo: Alisdair Hickson/Creative Commons